April 28, 2020

ER 6.4, Sins of the Fathers: Shockingly, Being a Doctor Isn’t as Glamorous as You’d Think

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:57 pm by Jenn

Meet Carol’s new project

Summary: Elizabeth is at Mark’s, trying to work out her schedule for the day. If their relationship was casual before, it’s not anymore. David calls to tell Mark that he was in a minor car accident in California. Carol gets breakfast at Doc Magoo’s, chatting with a waitress named Meg who’s also pregnant. Elizabeth comes in and Carol notices shaving cream on her earlobe from a makeout session with Mark. Carol asks Meg, who’s apparently not a very good waitress, about her prenatal care, but Meg hasn’t had any. Carol encourages her to come by County later.

Elizabeth buys a newspaper that features her picture on the front page. Paula’s article was supposed to be a piece praising Romano, but instead, it’s about how County isn’t safe. At County, Cleo is struggling to examine a belligerent girl named Robin. Yosh tries to calm her with a stuffed koala, but Robin throws it across the room, hitting another kid in the head. Robin’s mother thinks she has food poisoning, since her husband also isn’t feeling well. She assures Cleo that their home is childproof and all medications are kept out of Robin’s reach.

Dave calls Benton into the ER for a patient with appendicitis, but Benton doesn’t do general surgery anymore. Connie tried to tell Dave that, but Dave, of course, didn’t listen. He thinks Benton gave up general surgery because it’s not flashy enough, not because Romano is keeping him from it. Weaver finds Lawrence treating a man with excessive flatulence by having him stand on his head. Well, I guess it’s worth a shot. Lawrence mentions that Mark still doesn’t like him, so Weaver offers to talk to him.

Lucy brings him a medication order he forgot to sign. Lawrence thinks med students are younger than they used to be. He remembers Weaver’s mother talking to him at her graduation; all he could think about was that they were the same age. Weaver mentions that she passed away a few years ago. They talk about Lawrence’s family, which is really just his son and his ex-wives. Yosh comes into the lounge, chasing Robin, and Weaver and Lawrence act like this happens all the time.

Elizabeth and Romano discuss the article and how damaging it is to County. Instead of making Romano look good, it’s brought him attention from his superiors. Plus, the only picture of him is in a sidebar. He made Elizabeth associate chief to do his bidding, but so far, she hasn’t. As punishment, Romano tells Elizabeth to make Anspaugh stop scheduling his own surgeries, since they’re screwing up Romano’s schedule.

Carter asks Elizabeth if Elaine’s pathology report is back. Elizabeth tells him to talk to Elaine himself. She confirms that Elaine will be coming in that afternoon to have her sutures removed. Elizabeth, stop enabling him. Paramedics bring in a teen named Tommy who tried to hang himself. Dave is eager to do his intubation, even though it’s tricky. Mark gives in, probably just to make him shut up.

Lawrence treats a cut on a girl’s arm, trying to get her to tell him what happened. The girl, Becky, says some things that don’t make sense to Lawrence, like “he wasn’t outside” and “I didn’t even know they had a basement.” It turns out she’s Tommy’s girlfriend, and she found him hanging from a pipe in his family’s basement. She cut him down with a kitchen knife, which slipped and cut her when Tommy fell from the pipe.

Lawrence goes to check on Tommy, who’s stable after Dave’s intubation. Not that Dave cares – he just wants to brag that he did a good job. He also doesn’t think Tommy will recover, since he was deprived of oxygen for so long. He doesn’t realize that Becky has come into the trauma room. Lawrence blasts Dave for being an idiot; he needs to remember that every patient they treat is someone’s family member, not just a chance for Dave to learn a new procedure. After he leaves, Dave asks Mark what’s up with the new guy. Mark’s like, “You’re the newest guy I see around here, so…”

Becky tells Lawrence that Tommy’s dad is at work, but she’s not sure where. Robin brings over Cleo’s stethoscope and offers to help treat Becky. When Lawrence tries to send her away, she starts screaming. He quips to Cleo that he has that effect on women. Tommy wakes up, and since he’s breathing on his own, Mark takes him off his ventilator. Lawrence offers to call Tommy’s dad, but Tommy isn’t ready for that. Mark pulls Lawrence out of the room to tell him he’s handling the case.

Carol gives Meg an ultrasound, admitting that she’s waiting to find out what she’s having. Carol spots cigarettes in Meg’s belongings and gives her a PSA about smoking while pregnant. Meg knows all the risks, but she’s stressed – she got fired from Doc Magoo’s for not moving fast enough. Carol offers to get her connected with a social worker who can help her get some aid. Meg asks if there are any jobs open in the hospital cafeteria. Carol agrees to find out if Meg promises to quit smoking.

Mark’s trying to talk to David on the phone about car insurance when Weaver tells him a double trauma is coming in. Robin runs through the ER, ignoring Weaver when she tells her to stop running. Weaver complains to Mark that Elizabeth’s article is causing a lot of PR problems for the hospital. Mark has no idea what she’s talking about. Tommy’s neighbor calls for Lawrence, wanting to give him Tommy’s father’s work phone number, but Mark intercepts the call.

Paramedics bring in a couple of skydivers who collided on their way down. Carter takes one and Dave takes the other, but Dave wants to switch since his guy doesn’t have bad injuries. Carter agrees to a coin flip to determine who treats which guy. Dave wins and takes the worse trauma, working with Mark again. Elizabeth comes by and learns that Benton took a patient up to the OR for a hernia operation, which he’s not supposed to do.

Lawrence talks Lucy through a procedure on Carter’s patient, allowing Dave to come in and help. He’s bored with his patient and wants to switch back, but Mark won’t let him. Lawrence gives Connie some instructions he already gave her. For slower members of the audience (or slower readers of this recap), it’s clear that Lawrence is having problems with his memory.

Benton is operating with Anspaugh, who’s happy to get to work with him again. Elizabeth interrupts to remind Benton that he’s supposed to do trauma surgery, not elective procedures. She was called to the ER because he wasn’t there. She orders him to step out and let Anspaugh complete the procedure on his own.

Carol can’t find anything in the cafeteria that looks appetizing. Mark tells her that David keeps calling to talk about the cypress tree he crashed into. Carol asks a cashier who she should talk to about hiring staff. The cashier tells her, then busts her for eating a carrot in the line. What did that cost, 5 cents? Calm down, cashier.

Cleo discharges Robin, which means she and Yosh will finally get some peace and quiet. Dave and Mark continue working on their skydiving patient, and Mark tells Dave to contact his family. Dave thinks that should be a nurse’s responsibility. “Only if you fail,” Mark tells Dave. Carter tracks down Elaine, who’s gotten the good news that her cancer hasn’t spread. She can’t feel happy, though, since she’s still coming to terms with her mastectomy. Carter cheers her up a little, offering to get together later to talk about anything other than her health.

Dave manages to show some maturity and professionalism when he calls his patient’s wife and tells her how serious his condition is. The wife is in Dallas and might not make it to Chicago before her husband dies. Dave doesn’t want to write down a message to give her husband, but Mark makes him.

Mark is on the phone with David again when he sees Lawrence yelling at a man Connie tells him is Tommy’s father. Lawrence is mad that Mr. Stevens isn’t around as much as Tommy needs. He doesn’t think Mr. Stevens should see him right now. Mark sends Mr. Stevens to see his son, then tells Lawrence that he doesn’t know enough details about the family’s life to make any judgments.

Carol arranges a job interview for Meg, saying she has a good chance of getting the job since she has experience in food service. Meg promises again to quit smoking. Elizabeth calls the newspaper to try to get another article published, this time giving her side of the story. She goes into the scrub room with Anspaugh, wanting to talk, but gets distracted by a mirror Romano has had installed, right at Romano height. Anspaugh knows Elizabeth is struggling to manage people, but since Benton’s good at his job, he should be operating as much as he can. Elizabeth agrees, and Anspaugh tells her she doesn’t always have to do Romano’s dirty work.

Lucy invites Dave to join her on a case she thinks he’ll love, but he has to see his patient’s care through to the end. He goes to read the patient’s wife’s message to him, but Benton has just declared him dead. Dave doesn’t know what to do with the message. Robin comes back to the ER, this time unresponsive for half an hour after cardiac arrest. Cleo and Weaver try to figure out if she could have ingested anything. Robin’s mother mentions vitamins they keep within Robin’s reach, and Cleo realizes she took too many and has iron poisoning. Unfortunately, Cleo can’t save her.

Once the trauma is over and Robin has been declared dead, Cleo stays behind to finish up with her body, even though it’s usually the nurses’ job. Weaver gently warns that there will be an M&M. Cleo admits that she asked Robin’s mother about household poisons and medications, but not iron. Weaver says she probably wouldn’t have asked, either. She doesn’t think Cleo did anything wrong. That doesn’t make Cleo feel better, of course.

Dave tells Mark that their patient died before he could read his wife’s message. Mark says that the message was more for the wife than the husband. Dave doesn’t feel right throwing the message away, especially since the wife said some really nice things. Mark finds Lawrence talking to Tommy about father/son relationships, knowing how difficult it can be for a son whose father works a lot. In fact, Mr. Stevens has already left the hospital. Tommy reveals that his suicide attempt had nothing to do with his father – Becky broke up with him.

Elizabeth tries to gather her courage to tell Romano that they shouldn’t do anything that might make Anspaugh mad, like take away his scheduling power. If Romano wants to push him out, he’ll have to do it on his own. Romano says he never intended to push Anspaugh out. He just wants Fridays off.

Mark and Lawrence smooth things over between them, agreeing that Mr. Stevens was a jerk for leaving Tommy in the hospital. They talk about their own families, and how Mark doesn’t get to see Rachel very much. Lawrence says that his son once fell out of a tree while he was working in the ER. Lawrence realized later that he’d actually jumped, wanting to come to the hospital to see his father. Lucy follows up with Lawrence on a case, which is just a way for him to demonstrate more memory problems, since he doesn’t remember a test he told her to run.

Dave tosses the note in the trash as he leaves for the night. Meg finds Carol, upset because she missed her job interview. She doesn’t think anyone will want to hire her while she’s pregnant. Carol offers to take her to the cafeteria and help her work things out. A sick little boy comes in and Cleo jumps to take care of him with Weaver, wanting to redeem herself.

Lucy asks Carter if he heard Lawrence order a test she insists he ordered. Carter didn’t hear and is sure Lucy, not Lawrence, is the one who screwed up. (He’s not – Lawrence ordered the test. Also, I think Connie overheard, so Lucy should check with her.) Dave returns to the ER, fishes the note out of the trash, reads it to his patient’s body, and throws it out again. Mark tells Elizabeth that David’s insurance was canceled, so Mark has to pay for the cypress tree. He teases her with a framed copy of the newspaper article. They invite Lawrence to get dinner with them at Doc Magoo’s, but he declines.

Thoughts: Meg is played by Martha Plimpton, who deserved a much better storyline than this.

Robin is a good reason to not become a pediatrician and also never have kids or be anywhere around them at any time.

If Elizabeth wants to keep Benton on a tight leash, all she needs to do is tell Shirley when he can and can’t operate. Benton wouldn’t dare cross Shirley.

1 Comment »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    I was pleased to see Martha Plimpton as a guest star, but you’re right, this is a lame storyline for her. She should’ve been a med student.

    The Robin storyline was annoying, as it should be, but they made the child so obnoxious it was hard to feel too terrible when she came in absolutely silent. Does that make me a horrible person? Ugh. The mother’s reaction to her attitude throughout the episode made it seem like that was Robin’s baseline behavior status and she was used to it, not that it was due to anything wrong with her, so I don’t really see where “iron poisoning” would have cropped up as a likely cause for anything she was exhibiting. The mom had great hair though.

    Lucy’s perceptiveness with regards to psych kind of comes into play here and it’s interesting to watch. It would have been nice if they’d had Connie come up behind Lucy and confirm she heard Lawrence’s order too, though it would only have been useful when Lucy was discussing it with Carter. And he probably would have just dismissed them both since he had Elaine on the brain.

    Romano’s good at the gaslighting bullshit. But Elizabeth has to learn how to question his orders or at least ask for clarification. She misinterpreted, maybe, but she also didn’t ask any followups. That’s a good way to screw things up like she nearly did. Plus, I thought Romano agreed in the last ep or two that he was just screwing around with Peter and that Peter was allowed to do surgeries? Elizabeth calling him out in the middle of a surgery was poor form; let him finish the surgery, then clarify things with him privately later (or chew him out, whichever), not in front of colleagues.

    The parallels of Lawrence’s memory issues and Mark’s father’s increasing dependence on Mark are interesting; we know eventually David will come to Chicago but I guess Mark is only now getting a taste for what his mother was handling when it came to David’s peccadilloes. It’s actually kind of nice to see that David calls Mark for help with things, though, as he definitely wasn’t doing that a couple seasons ago.


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